ON THE STREET – News from the SIC

Bill Gilmore, PE (HDR/ICA) / November 2, 2015

The following items may be of interest to our readers. NCSITE takes no official position on these articles or items; however, you are encouraged to read and stay abreast of what is taking place in our profession and discuss with your colleagues.

National News

Washington D.C., Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015:  Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act by extending federal highway, transit, and highway safety program until November 20. The bills provided a three-year extension of the deadline to install positive train control. (Editorial note: It appears the extension of the train control mandate is due to the potential shut down of many freight operations out of concern for litigation.)

The House is expected to consider their long-term surface transportation bill, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, on the House Floor this week.   If the House is successful, members of the House and Senate will only have 4-5 legislative days to work out the differences between the House and Senate bills before the current extension expires.  If that happens, hopefully another extension will be made.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) warns of revenue shortfall:  On October 21, the CBO warned the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the pending and estimated 2016 shortfall of revenue and subsequent impact to the Highway Trust Fund. The shortfall would result in the inability to meet the funds obligations. This information must be considered in the short and long-term management of the active programs as well as future funding strategies.

Happy Birthday to the MUTCD!:  The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) turns 80 tomorrow on November 7, and this octogenarian is still going strong. The secret of its vitality? The MUTCD remains active by helping the rest of us get to where we need to go safely and efficiently. (Read more…)